updated 03:10 pm EDT, Wed July 23, 2008
Zune Tattoo Fan Gives Up
Microsoft's most ardent supporter of the Zune is giving up on the player despite having gone to the extent of receiving three Zune-themed tattoos, according to a statement by the fan himself. Having earned a reputation as one of the most avid early adopters, Steven Smith now says he will hide the tattoos and largely exit the community after disappointment at the lack of changes both to the Zune itself as well as to integration between the Microsoft-designed player and to integration with the Xbox 360, which shares the same points system but doesn't let users share videos between formats.
"I have had the Zune since day 1 and have noticed little improvement," Smith says. "I have tried my best to support them every step of the way but the recent Xbox Live announcement at E3 made me lose it."
The fan adds that he's likely to buy the third-generation Zune expected at the end of this year but admits that he may use "some of the competiton" in the meantime.
While the gesture itself is largely symbolic, it reflects a public frustration with the player expressed by both some fans and potential buyers, many of whom have criticized Microsoft for relatively conservative updates to the player since it was introduced in November 2006. The device still misses support for audiobooks and movies, and just received official TV show support in-store as of May 2008, roughly two and a half years after the first TV shows became available through iTunes.
Microsoft for its part has continued to pledge support for the Zune and this year stepped up its update schedule, releasing a mid-year update rather than only adding features when new hardware appears in the fall. The company has said that it will ultimately introduce a touchscreen and other new features to the Zune, but has yet to commit to any particular timeframe.